Lilly Higgins: A healthier version of the popular savoury samosa

This version makes a lovely supper with salad, mango chutney and yoghurt and cucumber raita

Chicken and spring green samosas

Nearly every culture has a pastry-based stuffed savoury snack. Spain and South America have the empanada, Britain has the Cornish pasty and Poland has pierogi, to name but a few. Samosas are the most popular savoury snack in India and a street food staple. They are also eaten in Somalia and Ethiopia. They are triangular pastries that are usually deep-fried. Vegetable fillings can include diced potato and plenty of spices. Minced meat with spices and fried onion also make a delicious and popular filling.

I’ve baked my samosa for a healthier version yet it still retains the crisp and crunchy pastry for which the samosa is famous. My version of the samosa is also quite big and makes a lovely supper with some salads, mango chutney and a simple raita of yoghurt and cucumber.

Nigella seeds are one of my favourite ingredients. They give a distinctive mild peppery onion flavour on naan and in curries or chutneys. In India it is also called black cumin and can be called Kalonji or black onion seed too. It perfects homemade naan and gives these samosas a delicious and authentic flavour. The seeds can be found in most supermarkets now, as well as Asian or Middle Eastern food stores.

I usually make these samosas when I have leftover chicken from a roast. It’s an ideal way to stretch one chicken breast to feed the entire family. Of course they’re ideal meat free too, and you can add lentils or tofu for protein. The key to the perfect filling texture is to cook the potatoes lightly in boiling water first. They need to be almost fork tender and will finish cooking once wrapped in the filo pastry.


You can add any greens to this. Lately, I love adding a few young dandelion leaves from the garden, or some wild garlic. It wilts nicely along with spinach. I recently bought a huge bunch of rainbow chard, it’s incredibly beautiful and looks like neon glow sticks. I chopped it all up, sauteed the stalks with ginger first, then added the leaves, along with wild garlic, spices and a splash of coconut milk to make the most delicious saag. Another really great way to make the most of seasonal spring greens.

Recipe: Chicken and spring greens samosas